Farm Press Blog

Harold Hamm, sharecropper to oil and fracking tycoon

RSS

Table of Contents:

  • The U.S. will pass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the No. 1 oil producer in the world in 2015. Harold Hamm — a sharecropper's son — has been a key player in a phenomenal oil boom.

During high school he worked 50-60 hours at the Potter Oil Company and after graduating, started his own company — Harold Hamm Tank Truck Service — with a single bobtail Ford truck. Next came the Shelly Dean Oil Company, which Hamm began in 1967: “… my first hit came when I was 25, in 1971, when I made my first find — in the Oswego formation, in Northwest Oklahoma,” he tells Forbes. “… I drilled the Eldon Cook No. 2, my first well. It was a success, producing about 20 barrels of oil an hour. My concept was strictly amateur at the time, but it was a good idea. It still produces, and paid all the bills. It turned out to be the 6-million-barrel Oakdale field … The second well was a wildcat 5 miles from production. It produced 75 barrels of oil per hour, and everyone took notice.”

Hamm’s first oil company morphed into the present Continental Resources and the past decade saw him leap from millionaire to billionaire. (Hamm is often the object of a media circus as he may soon break all records with the most expensive divorce in history. Rupert Murdoch set the mark at $1.7 billion in June of 2013; Hamm’s wife, Sue Ann, may get much more.)

It’s been 40 years since the benchmark OPEC embargo, yet the U.S. is now producing more oil than it imports, and the unlikely path carved out by Hamm — from cotton field to oil field — is integral to the tale.

For more on the fracking explosion and Hamm’s story, see The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters

 

Follow me on Twitter: @CBennett71

Email me: cbennett@farmpress.com

 

Image from Wikimedia Commons, Joshua Doubek

 

Blog archive

The myth of the aging US farmer

Biggest wine hoax of all? Kurniawan insanity plea

Deer in rut can be a killing machine

Cargo theft, cattle rustling cripple farmers and ranchers

Pig farmer replays Deliverance with repo men

Where is one-fifth of the world’s fresh water hiding?

Dementia brings legal end to burn pit tragedy

Who are the top 100 private landowners in the US?

Farmer cheats death with pocketknife

One honey heist to rule them all

Brad Kelley, the farm boy with 1 million acres

Discuss this Blog Entry 0

Post new comment
or to use your Western Farm Press ID
What's Farm Press Blog?

The Farm Press Daily Blog

Connect With Us

Blog Archive
Continuing Education Courses
New Course
California is becoming the first state in the nation to invoke regulations to reduce Volatile...
New Course
Ant control is an important element of harvesting a high quality almond crop. It starts with...
This accredited CE course focuses on choosing the correct variety alfalfa based on a number of...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×